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In the frame

Posted on March 08, 2023 by

Humza Yousaf will not be the next First Minister of Scotland. We’re calling it now. His trainwreck of a performance on last night’s leadership election debate on STV dealt a blow to his chances that we can’t see him recovering from, and the SNP establishment is now under such intense scrutiny over the electoral process that the chances of a fix being orchestrated by Peter Murrell are receding fast.

In the debate Yousaf declared that Nicola Sturgeon was the best politician in the UK, that he wasn’t as good as her, and that she’d failed to find a successful strategy for independence and therefore he couldn’t either.

So, um, that’s that, we suppose.

(When pressed throughout the rest of the debate, Yousaf’s main point was that we couldn’t possibly win independence if we didn’t let rapists into women’s prisons.)

But you should really watch the whole thing if you didn’t last night, because unlike the incredibly dull party hustings it was a proper dogfight in which no holds were barred. Despite Yousaf’s constant attempts to talk over both women (which both could have resisted more stoutly), Ash Regan turned herself almost overnight from a rabbit caught in headlights to a passionate, confident and forthright debater, and particularly bossed the middle section where the candidates cross-examined each other.

What was perhaps most notable, though, was that right at the start, when each of the candidates was asked to explain their strategies for achieving independence (“How and when?”, as moderator Colin Mackay put it), both Forbes and Yousaf immediately deflected – Forbes onto droning away about poverty and the cost of living, and Yousaf to his “progressive agenda” of rapist-coddling.

(Yousaf devoted almost his entire cross-examination, mystifyingly, to “defending” the massively unpopular Gender Recognition Reform bill – claiming it to be “the voice of the Scottish people” despite the people of Scotland being overwhelmingly opposed to it – and the coalition with the even more unpopular Scottish Greens. The one slight disappointment of Regan’s performance was her failure to make that point.)

Both Forbes and Yousaf appeared to think that “growing support” was both a radical concept nobody else had ever thought of and a solution in itself, which would make Westminster opposition melt away in exactly the way it conspicuously didn’t when polls showed a consistent indy majority for almost a year during the COVID pandemic.

Regan was the only one with an identifiable, describable plan that didn’t simply amount to a repeat of the failed strategy of the last eight years, and her much more assured and combative showing catapulted her into serious contention. We know this because Team Yousaf was in an absolute paroxysm of rage all night at both her and Forbes.

(We must admit, readers, that we’re unsure as to what system of measurement former Cllr Spear is using when she says Nicola Sturgeon “consistently increased support for independence”. Perhaps someone could ask her on our behalf, as we’re blocked.)

Oddly, amid all their hysterical indignation about the candidates attacking each other’s records in government, they didn’t mind Yousaf’s remarkable accusation that Forbes had “sold us about £600m short” in negotiations with the UK.

But the real key fact is that the election will be conducted by a variant of the Single Transferable Vote system used in council elections, and that makes Yousaf’s road to victory an almost impossible one.

Since none of the candidates are likely to secure 50% of first-preference votes, second-choice transfers will be crucial, and it’s doubtful he’ll get many of Forbes’ – having staked everything on the party’s “progressive” young woke wing, who despise Forbes for her socially and economically conservative views – and pretty much none of Regan’s for much the same reasons.

So even if he actually comes first in the ballot – and the SNP is throwing all its rules on the bonfire to try to make sure he does – he’s still unlikely to get across the finishing line. What the party’s members realistically have to decide is whether Kate Forbes or Ash Regan has the most viable plan to end Sturgeon’s eight-year stalemate.

To us, that’s a no-brainer. Both last night and at all the previous hustings, every time Forbes is asked to explain precisely how her policies would magically convert a polling lead into actually achieving independence, she starts talking about something else and keeps doing it until the clock runs out.

(We thought it was an especially brave move of Forbes to raise the subject of who Unionists fear most, because it’s certainly not her, and also certainly not Yousaf, who the Daily Record has thrown its weight behind in the same way the Times and Daily Mail have done for Forbes. Scotland’s media is doing its best to either mock or ignore Regan completely, which ought to tell you a lot about who they actually fear.)

But whether SNP members want someone who can deliver independence, or who can just (like their current leader) brightly deliver an endless stream of bland platitudes and prevarications with polished, perky presentation – someone with a winning smile but no plan for actual winning –  is something that only the next three weeks will tell us.

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0 to “In the frame”

  1. Geoff Anderson says:

    The funny thing is I once thought the SNP was supposed to be about Independence, not protecting the Party, not garnishing votes, not collecting Short Money, not creating jobs at HQ, not promoting the TransCult thugs, not ensuring Pete Wishart has a healthy Pension……silly me!

    I’m glad the Humza fan club clarified that for me. Strange how many Nicophants switched to Humza so easily!

  2. Mark Boyle says:

    Thanks for bloody jinxing it again, Stu!

  3. Bob Mack says:

    In spite of every dirty trick in their considerable arsenal they are being defeated by wanting to maintain the status quo. Yousaf has reeled of every policy in the book he didn’t believe in a few days ago,but nobody believes his rubbish.

    Hopefully those who promised to leave or resign will do so if Ash or Kate get elected. A major clearout is required.

    Working in unison for Indy is the only game in town.

  4. Big Jock says:

    I hope you are right Stu.

    The only problem is that Kate will likely win now. I think she will certainly win over some of the no voters. However as you say, what’s the point when she has no plan to use the mandate. We don’t need anymore mandates. We have hunners, we don’t need to grow support. We need the support to have something to vote for. We need an exit route from the UK whether we are at 47% or 60%.

    It’s a cliché, but you don’t win in polls. You win in an actual campaign and a concrete vote at the end of it.

  5. DJ says:

    Great summary Stu. Ash or the same old, same old, going nowhere, except around the same mulberry bush.

  6. Karen says:

    Ash was passionate and convincing. Kate was natural but deflecting, and too young for me – maybe next time. Humza was groomed (ha!) but empty. Ash for me!

  7. Bob Mack says:

    Do we detect a hive mind rather than individuals who can think for themselves? Certainly seems like it.

  8. Mrs Grimble says:

    “I am a member and I will leave if you win!”
    Poor Ms Forbes must be absolutely distraught at that!

  9. Rogerborg says:

    I’ll be astonished if Humza is the next FM, but equally surprised if he’s not the next-but-one, and in very short order.

    If the Outer Party has the hubris to vote the wrong way, that mistake will be corrected by the MSPs in record time. I expect that either a Forbes or Regan premiership will break Liz Truss’s 44 day record, and that the following contest will be… appropriately fortified, in the Theresa May / Rishi Sunak style.

    Humza has been anointed, and only Humza will be accepted.

  10. Liz says:

    How far do you think the vote can be fixed?
    All the usual suspects are pushing Humza

  11. Vivian O’Blivion says:

    Have to disagree about wee Peter ever reaching the stage where he’s unable to fix the election. He just has to. It’s existential.
    The cabal around Sturgeon are invested in maintaining the status quo. There’s more potentially to loose from change than a steady income.
    If the information available to the Jury in the Alex Salmond case became public knowledge, including the redacted names of his accusers, the whole house of cards may come crashing down.
    Control over the appointment of Lord Advocates gives the party leverage over the actions of the COPFS. Lord Advocates serve five year (or less) terms. Ergo, a great many prominent Judges believe that their time will come if they “just do as their telt”.
    Operation Branchform only progresses because some recalcitrant plod fae Polis Scotland keeps leaking to the press.
    Anyone other than Yousaf in Bute Hoose potentially puts wee Peter and his criminally compromised accomplices in the big hoose.

  12. Alastair R says:

    @MSM Monitor tweeted how Kate Forbes had lost credibility and Yousaf had performed the best. I friendly asked what it was that she had lost credibility on and i was blocked. I sincerely doubt in this case it was her stance on Independence so i can only assume that this account is another that is all in on Humza. Shame as i liked it and interacted often

  13. PhilM says:

    Wid all doo r’speck Stu, I think we don’t know enough about why members will be voting for Kate Forbes. Do enough of them want a ‘steady as she goes’ leader who’s not going to rock any kind of boat whatsoever, who might not want a disruptor like Ash Regan anywhere near a top job and who might accept Humza in a cabinet role (where he’s been for nearly 5 years now) and so give him a second preference vote because psychologically the STV format makes people uneasy about not ranking another person as a second choice. Real Kate Forbes boosters might also have it somewhere in their minds the thought that even if Humza wins because of that second preference choice, Kate Forbes might still keep her finance position with the promise of better things to come. So when you say ‘likely to get few’, I’m not sure we know.
    Anyway I bow to your superior gut feeling and I pray to Jedekiah, the leader of our apocalyptic cult, that you are correct.

  14. Ally says:

    That last video I must have shouted out 9 or 10 times “HOW!”

    That is a car crash of an answer, “we need to persuade people…” ok, so what then? *crickets*

  15. Kate says:

    I actually saw STURGEON in Forbes last night, they way she attacked what really should have been one of her own colleagues. The fierceness in her face wen she was gutting him over the mess he made of all the positions he boasts about holding.. It was all TRUE of course. But if she can do that to a cabinet minister in the same party she is still a cabinet minister, then what rage is she going g to show towards the other Indy Parties or the Yes Movement..

    ALL she could talk about was GROWING the party towards INDEPENDENCE I thought that was what the past 8yrs were all about.. STURGEON Mark2 is what Forbes is, YUSELESS is a waste of space.. ASH all the way…

  16. Anton Decadent says:

    Rather telling that some of our serving MPs in a supposedly nationalist government have the flags of other countries placed before that of their own.

  17. Calum says:

    “that the chances of a fix being orchestrated by Peter Murrell are receding fast”

    I sincerely hope this is right.

  18. Lorna Campbell says:

    I was astounded when Humza said that. What is he doing in the SNP? If there is no route to independence, shouldn’t the members have been told that when they were asked to contribute to a campaign fund for independence? If there is a way – and we all know that there are several – why the hell haven’t the SNP and Green Coalition done anything about it?

    Sturgeon chose to die on the ‘trans’ hill, and it brought her down. She appeared like a clown after all her assurances – which women warned her over and over were worthless – when she had to backtrack on Isla the rapist. Then, just to put the kibosh on any recovery she might have made, along comes long-term ‘trans’, the butch butcher. Has she even tried to address the issue around this, she would have destroyed any credibility she had left – which was close to zero at that point.

    That another candidate for leadership should imagine that this issue is a vote winner should disqualify him/her immediately as being too immature in the old bonce department to do other than play with his/her toys and invite the equally intellectually-challenged Greens along for a sleepover.

    Kate Forbes seems unwilling to step off the cats’ eyes in the middle of the road, but she has not sussed yet that it is not reactionary Unionists and the NO vote she has to fear, in reality, but the YES voters – those from her own party and the other independence parties, and no party. They view this leadership as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to elect an independence-minded FM and they are not going to forgive a ‘steady as she goes’ feartie like the last FM, who, if she does not concentrate on independence, will find herself up to her proverbials in cloying ‘trans’ mud again – and that really will signal the end of the SNP, but certainly not independence.

    Nature abhors a vacuum, as the cliche goes, and another, far less forgiving party will step into its place. Any SNP, Green or Unionist who actually believes that this will be the end of independence is very mistaken. On that score, it does not matter who is elected because independence is growing more powerful. What we are seeing are similar circumstances that pertained in Ireland circa 1916, before Sinn Fein rose to power. The more you try to crush something, the more it will rise up again. Anyone who wants to avoid an all-out catastrophe needs to accept now that there is no way round independence. Ash Regan is the only candidate offering anything like that, and she could do worse than cast her eyes across the water towards our Celtic cousins and the feisty women at the head of Sinn Fein.

  19. Peter Campbell says:

    It’s kind of scary how much all those SNP folks listed are more protective of the SNP than they are of Scotland itself. None of them can look in the mirror and admit the obvious flaws the SNP possess. It’s all about power for the party for them.

  20. Stuart MacKay says:

    Geoff Anderson @12:47pm

    Pournelle’s iron law of bureaucracy

    In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals that the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

    In other words, in politics, all roads lead to the trough.

    Somewhat off topic. I see, on International Women’s Day, Google couldn’t quite bring themselves to use Suffragette colours for their home page and used trans ones instead.

  21. Martin says:

    I think Forbes will win. You’re right of course about her answers, but she’s been quite smart here. She has positioned herself as the 2nd choice for voters who favour the other two, knowing nobody is going to be 50% plus. Nobody is going Hopeless 1, Ash 2 or Ash 1 hopeless 2..

    Hopefully she gets Ash on board because we definitely need a government who actually want independence.

  22. Eric says:

    Highlight for me was the person who effectively asked “aren’t you hypocritical shunning an election after demanding the tories have one at Westminster?”

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I think we don’t know enough about why members will be voting for Kate Forbes”

    If the Newsnight segment last night was anything to go by, it’s because she’s “nice”.

  24. Confused says:

    I briefly caught a snatch of someone talking about this somewhere while in a semi-delirium, so feel confidently well-qualified to hold forth –

    – humza showed world class statesmanlike class and is not a spiv who got into politics as he wasn’t bright enough for medicine, or could be trusted to run the shop

    – humza will be introducing transwomen-are-women into his local mosque, where all the girls can compare hijabs and talk about cute bollywood hunks; islam is a religion of peace and no one will have a problem with this

    – if Scotland could leverage the power of the international trans lobby we would be independent tomorrow

    – it was Barzini all along, Johnny Ola just asked me for some help

    that is all.

    Next hustings will be under “Thunderdome” rules – (3) men enter one man leaves

    bored already; once humza gets in he can steer right into the iceberg and everyone can defect to ALBA

  25. Jeannie McCrimmon says:

    “Ash Regan turned herself almost overnight from a rabbit caught in headlights to a passionate, confident and forthright debater, and particularly bossed the middle section where the candidates cross-examined each other.”

    This is the Ash Regan I know from the Holyrood chamber. Scotland needs her to win.

  26. Doug says:

    Great to see the party-before-country Sturgeonistas getting their knickers in a twist trying to defend their fellow unionist Yousaf. Their fear of independence is sickening. Only a matter of days now before Yousaf and his followers lose the plot, go in the huff and play the race card against all pro independence supporters.

  27. Big Jock says:

    One positive of Kate getting the gig. All the Trans nutters will resign en-masse. Once the SNP get rid of the loony fringe , then at least there is hope for the party.

    The party needs a cleansing.

  28. stuart mctavish says:

    What odds on Humza if he spills the beans on coughid before Fox/ BBC works out why the flag and spear guy got a police escort during his part in our former ambassadors alleged insurrection against himself – and moves onto potentially more interesting revelations as to how the stage was set, and why?

  29. Debatable Lands says:

    If anyone had any remaining doubts that the SNP has been hijacked by the progressive (read far) left – who frankly are not that fussed about independence, I think they should be gone by now.

    Forbes is right that there is a large pool of people that could vote Yes, but would never vote SNP. They can’t see the point of delivering Scotland into the chaos that the current version of the SNP would make of independence.

    She is right. Fix the economy, govern well for all sections of the population and it’s an easy sell. Continue with the slightly tyrannical left-wingism where forcing the majority of the population to swallow policies they clearly don’t want (because it is for their own good) – while the wheels are clearly coming off core services – and the part of the population with something to lose if it all goes wrong are going to think, ‘Let’s not take a risk, eh?’

  30. Ted says:

    Kate is the one every Unionist like me worries about. The reason being that if (big if) she can get up before the Scottish electorate I think she is closer to the hopes, wishes and beliefs of ordinary people both in Scotland and in the majority population of the UK, than the other two. This will make her a formidable threat to the Union. Hopefully she may not get past the SNP electorate and so the result will either be the completely hollow and incompetent Humsa or, er, the other one.

  31. laukat says:

    Finally watched the whole thing mainly to see why Hunter and crew were moaning about Forbes. Was Yousaf not the first to try and put the boot into Forbes by saying she short-changed Scotland in negotiations with Sunak? What did Yousaf expect from Forbes if he’s going to attack first.

    Forbes and Yousaf appear to be fighting the contest on the based on undermining each overs competence. Yousaf trying to undermine Forbes competence of left of centre politics, Forbes on Yousaf’s ministerial and economic competence. I’m not sure who’s advising them that this is what the membership care about but I can’t see how it moves any voters from one camp to another.

    To me Regan is looking more and more like the person rising about the others squabbling and adapting her message to move voters to her.

    However perhaps more importantly she’s the one that’s saying things that will appeal more to the traditional SNP vote. She’s also managed very quickly to move away from the Voter Enablement Mechanism and in a couple of days redefine the “Gold Standard” as being the ballot box not a referendum. Redefining topics is a good skill to have as it moves the subject matter along as well as neutering your opponents attack lines.

    That suggests 2 things. First of all she is learning and adapting quickly. Secondly I would suggest she is getting better intelligence on what is playing better with SNP members. Perhaps Kirk Torrance knows the SNP membership better than Peter Murrell?

    Next debate will be interesting to see if Forbes and Yousaf detect the threat of Regan and start to attack her more.

  32. Wee Chid says:

    Did that misogynist, racist barsteward talk over the two women all the time? He really needs taking down a peg or two. What a self centred, entitled wee funt he is. I do so hope your prediction is right, Stu.

  33. Wee Chid says:

    Vivian O’Blivion says:
    8 March, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    “If the information available to the Jury in the Alex Salmond case became public knowledge, including the redacted names of his accusers, the whole house of cards may come crashing down.”

    Not sure that it will. I’ve soken to members who say they don’t care who the women were. At the time said they would rather have Sturgeon for a leader than a man who behave inappropriately with women.

    Don’t think there is any convincing that type. They’ve made up their minds and will do what St Nic wants. Until they realise that St Nic is really auld Nic they will remain loyal to her and her hand picked minions.

  34. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    ” She’s also managed very quickly to move away from the Voter Enablement Mechanism and in a couple of days redefine the “Gold Standard” as being the ballot box not a referendum.”

    Um, she hasn’t moved away from it at all. Those are the same thing. What’s good is that she’s moved away from the suicidally terrible “Readiness Thermometer”. JFC, whose idea was THAT?

  35. Big Jock says:

    Wee Child -I listened to an SNP member wax lyrical about Sturgeon this morning on Radio Scotland. You know the great leader who got us from 45% to um…47%. Except it wasn’t even her doing.

    After the Brexit vote yes was at 56%. So essentially she managed to turn a good opportunity into a bad one for Scotland and didn’t grow that lead. She took it back to 2014 levels.

    Then walked out because she couldn’t get a Section 30 and lied about using the election as a referendum. She had no intention of doing that!

  36. North chiel says:

    Perhaps Forbes is attempting to win the” middle ground” position between “ do nothing towards Independence HY” and “ Independence at next election AR” ?Thereafter if she wins I would expect KF to be a lot more radical in moving towards Independence than she is currently “ letting on” . She previously mentioned that she was friends with A R and hopefully she will be more “ in tune” with her view on delivering independence . Perhaps she is keeping the unionist media “ on side” in the meantime ? Hopefully if she is elected then she will be ruthless and purge the party going forward . Would she appoint AR as deputy ? I would hope so

  37. Steve Lannigan says:

    The only way to achieve Indy is to change peoples minds about it – i.e. No voters.

    If you think that any of these three are capable of that then I would say you need to speak to more people outside the Yes movement.

    Salmond did so well because he took people with him – and he was respectful of those that disagreed with him. He built alliances and he knew fine well that for a country to work after Indy that it needs a lot more than 50+1%.

  38. desimond says:

    As pressure mounts, will Humza dare announce…A VOW!

    Murray Foote will be somewhere scribbling right now!

  39. Gregory Beekman says:

    If all that’s left in the SNP are Sturgeon Worshippers, won’t what he said go down brilliantly with them?

  40. Ian McCubbin says:

    Let’s hope it’s Ash rising as Useless falters.
    There us no other choice.

  41. laukat says:

    “Um, she hasn’t moved away from it at all. Those are the same thing. What’s good is that she’s moved away from the suicidally terrible “Readiness Thermometer”. JFC, whose idea was THAT?”

    When I say moved away I mean she has stopped using the term “Voter Enablement Mechanism”. I get that the detail that underpins VEM is the same as redefining the “Gold Standard” she’s just getting better and understanding what terms work and what don’t.

    I don’t think she’s mentioned VEM since the first few interviews after her campaign launch. So perhaps it was her own idea and then Torrance or someone else stepped in to help re-phrase it?

    The “Readiness Thermometer” was another poorly termed way of describing an underlying idea that could be useful. I think she has a tendency to think up stuff on the spot whereas a more experienced politician learns not to depart from what the pre-prepared ideas agreed with your advisors.

  42. Geri says:

    Vivienne 1:12

    The shredders are already in overdrive.

    Sturgeon has the embarrassment of staying on from the backbenches rather than fk off gracefully. That tells us all we need to know.

    They need a puppet in place who’ll shut up & do as he’s told.
    They’ll throw everything into rigging it & feck the consequences from the membership. It’s thier strategy that’s worked until now.


    Ash to win.

    Kate is just another tyre kicker with the same old failed strategy of talking about Independence with WM.
    They’ll never agree. We don’t need another talking shop.
    They won’t fear *a stern talking to*

  43. Moray Mint says:

    I’ve just watched the debate in full. Being as objective as possible I would say that Humza was better than I expected but I can’t see how an undecided SNP member would pick him. Kate made economically competent noises but was dull especially on indy. Ash was what a lot of ex-SNP members are looking for – someone who is clearly passionate and fed up with indy delays. I’d pick Ash but then I joined the SNP for indy and left when they pissed about. The SNP loyal will pick Humza because he’s the chosen successor but not sure what your average SNP member will do. If I had to guess it’ll be split between the two ladies. Can’t see Humza winning unless there are so few members left and they are all sheep.

  44. Geri says:

    Big Jock

    Wasn’t it at 55% a week out from indyref?

    I don’t think Shs everer moved the needle beyond Salmonds record.

    Every time they mention increased support they forget we were already over 50 before the infamous vow & Devo max bullshit.

  45. John H. says:

    With all the suspicion around Peter Murrell being in charge of the count, I’ve begun to wonder if my name is still on the membership list, even though I left the SNP over two years ago, Will people like me be used to boost the numbers for Humza?

  46. Big Jock says:

    John -Like me your name is probably still on the membership 3 times over to comply with the… ahem non binary codes of practice. Murrell will be cooking the books. He looks shifty!

  47. DJ says:

    Nice to see positive Wings btl engagement once again. Echoes of 2014.

  48. Lee Floyd says:

    Debatable Lands

    “Forbes is right that there is a large pool of people that could vote Yes, but would never vote SNP. They can’t see the point of delivering Scotland into the chaos that the current version of the SNP would make of independence”.

    Lucid, reasoned, correct. The SNP is a disaster, and everyone knows it. Once it ceases to be, or is replaced by another party that isn’t clinically nuts, then Scotland can have that independence debate, as competent adults. Not until. I’m English, by the way.

  49. Alastair says:

    Perfect set up for a Kate Ash joint ticket separating FM and PL.
    One stand down but announce the joint ticket working together for Scotland.
    One FM to run the SG and one Party Leader to run the independence campaign.
    Dream ticket leaving Humza high and dry.
    It’s win win using clean tricks rather than dirty tricks.

  50. bluegrass banjo says:

    nicola – says she never saw leaders debate last night

    just like she never saw snp financial logbook

  51. DMcV says:

    ‘…when each of the candidates was asked to explain their strategies for achieving independence (“How and when?”, as moderator Colin Mackay put it)…’

    Here’s the thing, Stu. No party leader or FM can achieve Independence. Only Scotland’s people can do so. And if still half the country doesn’t want independence despite the Unionist own goals of Brexit and this Tory Government being inflicted on Scotland, no voice, however eloquent (and, frankly, Ash Regan was rubbish in her BBC interview on Sunday morning. I didn’t see the debate, so perhaps she did, as you suggest, demonstrate a remarkable improvement in form) will persuade them.

    Another thing that won’t win over No voters is the crazy, eye-swivelling shouting match that is the comments section here. I hope this is not the authentic voice of Alba, because if it is, Alba is rapidly becoming the Scottish UKIP.

  52. Craig says:

    How did we get here from Sept 17th 2014?

    The day the YES voters were looking forward to casting their vote for independence to this complete clusterfuck where a man is a woman, a women is not a woman because women cease to exist by the men that want them to wheest and to see the debacle of a debate where 2 candidates were putting the boot into each other for the stuff they did whilst as ministers of an SNP “Government”?

    My Grandad was one of the earliest members of the SNP when they first started, he’s been dead for 30 years and I’d know if he was alive, he’d be utterly heartbroken as to what the SNP have become.

    If Ash doesn’t win, we might as well give up because we know with the Stugeonites acolytes still there, feeding on the corpse of what was once a thriving movement, independence is dead for at least 50 years.

  53. Caroline Wilson says:

    God, I can’t express how much I hope you’re right. However, I think there’s little Murrell & co. wouldn’t resort to in order to save their skins – it’s existential for them. The media coverage of ‘fixes’ etc. has been relatively manageable & I imagine they’re calculating they can ride it out, plus most of the media are shilling for Yousaf, for, well, obvious reasons.

    With the membership so hollowed out, we know so little about the demographics of the remaining members. I’m guessing the vast majority aren’t active (like most parties) & will only follow the debates on social media etc. – they’re the ones all the cringey MSP/MP endorsements are aimed at. It’s the big unknown.

  54. Mac says:

    If Humza wins you know it is a fix for sure. He is awful, arrogant, smug, condescending and he talks mince, non-stop bloody mince. I do worry about that strange story involving GSHQ though… if anyone is, they are the fix.

    Forbes as I commented a week or so ago is photogenic, she will appeal to men and women of all ages, she is homely, wholesome, non-threatening, but seems to naturally cut a lot of different looks for the camera. She also has a good speaking voice which is helped by the Gaelic lilt. I saw in the hustings that she also has good body language. She seems to be a bit of a natural in this regard or has been coached. The way she stood at the podium most of the night with her legs crossed was just another little thing that subliminally visually appeals.

    Forbes is definitely pursing a strategy. She is ‘casting the widest net’ but it makes her seem vague and non committal at times and especially on her plan to achieve independence. Hers is a message of steady the ship and independence will come. Build the economy and independence will come… Field of dreams style. I think this is very calculated strategy maybe based on good intelligence as is suggested above by someone.

    Ash Regan is improving the fastest. She is a hard edged realist who can spot a load of waffle-bollocks a mile off. She is steely and no nonsense.

    Undoubtedly the best candidate at this point and with Forbes as deputy that could be a very synergistic combination as Regan is hard edged while Forbes is cuddly and nice… Nice can win a lot of votes though, so don’t underestimate nice.

    If I was voting I’d vote Regan at this point. But I do still like Kate Forbes.

    For whatever reason Forbes has decided to skirt any discussion of her actual plan to achieve independence (assuming it exists). That could be deliberate to appeal to as many SNP voters as possible right now, given all the turmoil and outright panic, and it may well prove to be the winning plan…

    Regan goes right to the heart of the issue, every time, without hesitation nor fear, and clearly articulates her plan… that is extremely appealing to me and I think I would always regret it (if I was in the SNP and) I did not vote for Regan.

    Best solution Ash for leader and Kate for deputy.

    Steel and Silk. 🙂

  55. Republicofscotland says:

    I hope your right and that Yousaf has blown his chances, meanwhile Clyde 2 radio and Radio Scotland giving the other S30 dead end indy route Kate Forbes plenty of airtime.

    The real Scottish independence candidate Ash Regan is a usual an after thought, oh how they fear her.

  56. 100%Yes says:

    You only had to watch newsnight on the 07.03.23 to realise just how far from reality the SNP members are on Independence.
    One guy said Humza had the most credible plan because he was going to go and ask for another section 30. Another gentleman said why would you keep hitting your head against a concrete wall (section 30 order request) and expect a different result, but then he said he’d vote for Forbes who is going to ask for a section 30 order, it begs the question why? The woman said we had to build the economy to get independence, who are these people?
    Not only has Ash got a plan, but she’s said that she’d already spoken to all the leaders of the other prop-independence parties, so before she is elected as leader she is already taking decisive steps that ought to have been done years ago, and no other candidate has either taken or are planning on taking. Come on people get a grip, listen to what these candidates are saying, not what they look like, who they have as friends, but their plans for Independence. It’s as simple as this, Scotland without independence means, our people will continue to live in poverty, be subservient to London the Tories and Labour, and ultimately Scotland will no longer exist.
    If Scotland and the cause of Independence has to be left to these individuals (SNP members), then we are finished.

  57. 100%Yes says:

    I watched this debate yesterday and I was left thinking that out of all the candidates Kate Forbes hadn’t give any detail and was in my opinion the candidate least likely to pursue Independence.
    The best part of the leaders debate yesterday was when Kate and Humza were having a go at one and other. If Ash isn’t elected, I strongly believe we will have another SNP leader within two year and certainly before the next Holyrood election that’s how bad Forbes and Humza are.
    The three candidates love to talk about Independence and only one of them actually wants it and that’s Ash Regan who has already spoken to all the Pro-Indy party’s and the wider movement that’s (Progress for Scotland) she done more in a month that Kate and Humza has done during their time in the party, that’s why Ash Regan is for me a WIN WIN WIN for Scotland, the reality is if Kate or Humza is elected the SNP isn’t a party of Independence but a party that wants to govern and the ISP and Alba Party should keep nailing that to the SNP coffin.

  58. Peter A Bell says:

    Ash Regan has already said enough to make her the standout candidate for SNP members who wish to defend the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. Ash Regan is the only candidate who is so much as hinting at the kind of bold, assertive, decisive action that Scotland’s cause requires. I would urge her to go further still. At the very least, she must stick to and develop and clarify and solidify the position she has taken.

    In offering this encouragement to Ash Regan I would make one further point. I am firmly persuaded that taking a distinctively assertive line on the constitutional issue will attract the support she needs from SNP members. But perhaps more importantly, it will gain her massive support in the wider independence movement where opinion is rapidly moving towards less compliance and more defiance. Not only that but, by explicitly repudiating the Section 30 process she will open up debate about the process both within and without the party. A debate which Nicola Sturgeon strove relentlessly to suppress.

    Even if she doesn’t win the SNP leadership, by taking this more assertive stance Ash Regan will be something of a hero to the Yes movement ? excluding a diminishing group of party loyalists. We need a hero, right now! We really need a hero! I implore Ash Regan to be the hero the Yes movement needs. Then we too can be heroes for Scotland.

  59. 100%Yes says:

    If you watched the leadership debate then you need to watch and listen to Newsnight on 07.03.23, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Newsnight episode Stu. Four mature people who support Independence!

  60. Doug says:

    If Regan disnae win I hope Alba are getting ready for a large sudden increase in membership. Its manifesto better be radical and stooshily anti-unionist. Nothing to lose, everything to gain.

  61. Graham says:

    First time I’ve heard Ash Reagan’s voice, and: she sounds English.

    Great. Just the Anglophile we need to foster Scottish National identity.

  62. 100%Yes says:

    We all knew Humza useless had blown his chances when Nicola couldn’t even give him the full finger.

    Kate showed him what it means to be human with that attack on his track record, Ash get more forceful and start attacking more your other candidates have shown you the way.

  63. Graham says:

    Anyone have a link to watch the full debate that isn’t restricted outside the license area?

  64. James Che says:


    I have been busy but took the time today to catch up with your old comments on prior conversations,

    I note you mainly comment in protecting the Treaty of union.
    So you will know where to find my response.

    You’re return arguments were eloquent, and I appreciate that, however not convincing,

  65. President Xiden says:

    Famous SNP mission statements through the ages,
    1970’s: Free by 73, It’s Scotland’s Oil
    1997: Yes we can
    2001: We stand for Scotland
    2005: Let’s make Scotland Matter
    2015: Stronger for Scotland
    2019: It’s time to chose our own future
    2023: Fighting to give rapists the right to be in women’s prison.

  66. Den says:

    Forbes is correct imo, Winning over soft No voters (not no voters with entrenched historical views akin to those in Northern Ireland) requires a credible, published, Economic plan for prosperity, no sensible person will ever to be worse off. Ash is playing to the gallery with this full steam ahead and fuck the icebergs pish.

  67. Ottomanboi says:

    If after >300yrs so many Scots still cannot see that being a Westminster puppet has been/is bad for Scotland the word «thick» does not adequately fit the type.
    Are they the same ones who think priapic males should be allowed into women’s spaces coz they call themselves Roberta?

  68. James Che says:


    Back to gender issues.

    Did you notice this in the Daily Record, 8th March, 2023.

    The UK Government has provided a free and easy tool to use on line which gives an exact date for State Pension qualification,

    Just by entering your Gender and date of birth.

    Mmmm a game of bat and ball with Scotland on gender. ID, One Country quietly going under the radar by drawing attention to the the other, sneaky.

  69. Tom Halliday says:

    Well I am still of the opinion that the best win win from this election will be Ash Regan as party leader, Kate Forbes as FM providing competent governance, and Ash heading up the SNPs independence drive, she has already demonstrated a willingness to bring all the factions together where we can act as a “movement”, until we have someone wiling to take on that role we are not going anywhere.

  70. Breeks says:

    I’m far from convinced that format of debate is a constructive way to select a Leader. I think it borders on a skills test for demonstrating a politician’s ability to waffle.

    I don’t care if the Leader is a slick orator with refreshing self confidence and a razor sharp wit. You’ll find one of those in every car showroom and Sales Department throughout the Nation. The Leader I want is the thinker, the strategist, the tactician, the sly auld fox who’s at least two or three steps ahead of everybody else in the room, and would cuff Mr Spock at three dimensional chess.

    With the exeption of Regan, I think the other two were basically dying on the inside whenever the obdurate substance of Independence was mooted, because they actually seemed to dread the question.

    If you could physically quantify such a thing, I think between them, Forbes and Yousef actually thought harder and in greater earnest, actually trawling the depths of their longterm memory for a credible argument about Independence, than the whole of the SNP has collectively thought about Independence since 2014.

    In other words, how on Earth could two prospective leasders of the SNP be so ill prepared to answer such a patently obvious inquiry about the strategy for doing so?

    I’m not 100% sold on Regan’s strategy, but it’s workable, and may very well be the stepping stone to a cohesive strategy I could readily give my complete backing to.

    With Regan’s talk of a cross party Constitutional Convention, it feels like we’re playing “Hang the Man” with SALVO’s C_nv_nti_ / _f / t_e / Est_tes being assembled beneath the Cl_im / o_ / Ri_ht. There are some gaps to be filled in, but we’re getting there.

    To my mind, that route is the ONLY route where Scotland can secure the necessary clout and potency to re-frame Scottish Independence as an International Treaty between Nations rather than a domestic UK “insurrection”.

    For me, it’s Ash Regan or nobody.

  71. Vestas says:

    Given the SNP are using MiVoice and Murrell controls that (with no transparency/verification of votes) I think you’ll find that Yousaf gets in on “unexpected” second vote transfers.

    Murrell can’t do otherwise unless him, the missus and Mr Marmalade/his missus all fancy a holiday at his majesty’s pleasure…..

    Never underestimate how corrupt the SNP have become.

  72. A2 says:

    I’m afraid you make the assumption that all the people who have a vote in the matter give a fuck about what the contestants say.

  73. Tom Halliday says:

    Graham says:
    8 March, 2023 at 4:42 pm
    First time I’ve heard Ash Reagan’s voice, and: she sounds English.

    Great. Just the Anglophile we need to foster Scottish National identity.

    She was born in Glasgow, I couldn’t give two flying fucks what accent she has and could be outer Mongolian as far as I’m concerned, her commitment to independence is all that matters

  74. James Che says:


    Beside the gender pension issue on self ID being a problem for UK government,
    Was it not also meant to equalise pensions between male and females by date of birth rather than by sex of human at birth.

  75. James Che says:


    I am not aware of this ” Nobody” person that is running, but they will more than likely be the person I would bet on,

    When all is said and done, the first thing that comes to my mind is,
    Once someone becomes the elected leader of a political party, they immediately loose all faculties of memory recall 😉

  76. Elizabeth says:

    What I am wondering is when all the secrets are coming to light. Has Craig Murray given up on S MacDonald emails? Why did Nicola resign suddenly? How are Alex’s court cases against Lesley Evans and the leaking to the Daily record going?

  77. gregor says:

    Roddy Frame (2023): The North Star:

    “…They’ve split us into sections
    I’m from Mars and you’re from Venus
    But stranded in the daylight
    Nothing is defined…

    You know we’re gonna make it
    We’ve only gotta take it…

    I’m gonna be your mirror
    And you can mirror me
    I’ll see you in the bright star…”:

  78. Mia says:

    @ Ted

    You say

    “Kate is the one every Unionist like me worries about”

    I cannot see why. I would think the opposite applies. Forbes would be the safest option from a unionist point of view.

    It is quite clear she has no intention whatsoever in progressing independence and she is just going to follow the same non-credible, unproductive procrastinating and submissive bollocks approach Sturgeon followed. The same as Humza and Sturgeon, Forbes will be another “safe pair of hands” for the union.

    The only unionists who would be fearing Forbes are Labour HQ and all the labour plants currently infesting the SNP and riding the gravy train. Why? Because it is obvious the immediate consequence of somebody as inappropriate for leader as Yousaf officially “winning” the context will initiate a massive exodous from the SNP by those who are in the SNP or voting SNP to deliver independence, those who are sick to the back teeth of our pro independence votes being abused to peddle this gender crap nonsense and our taxpayers’ money being wasted in subjects that have nothing to do with independence, nothing to do with Scotland’s wellbeing nor even “Green” or Environmental matters and all to do with disgusting social engineering and the institutional legalisation of paedophilia, rape and child abuse by vicious neoliberal capitalism and pharma interests.

    THAT destructive strategy, ie implosion of the SNP, appears to be the only one Labour (or rather the power pulling Labour’s strings) have left to engineer the naturally and spontaneously impossible “revival” of Labour in Scotland.

    You say:
    “The reason being that if (big if) she can get up before the Scottish electorate I think she is closer to the hopes, wishes and beliefs of ordinary people both in Scotland and in the majority population of the UK”

    Forbes couldn’t be further from the hopes, whishes and beliefs of those, like me, who have been voting SNP TO DELIVER INDEPENDENCE, not to run like fire from it and submissively accepting like cowards the post-union English convention from the 19 century of parliamentary sovereignty while inmersing us even more in neoliberal destruction of our assets and demographics with maneuvres like the free ports and the industrial scale and totally unforgivable unloading of Scotland’s assets, like the off-shore wind farms, for a ridiculous price.

    You say Forbes is closer to what the majority of the population of the UK wants. At a point when the economic interests of Scotland and England are directlhy competing, why should a Scottish nationalist party or a Scottish nationalist seeking Scotland’s exit from this treaty of union care an iota what those out with Scotland want?

    Appealing to the rest of the UK is only an advantage for a party like labour, still blind to the fact that Scotland and England are now so divergent they cannot be governed fairly by the same set of policies unless you are willing to ruin one at the expense of the other.

    Appealing to voters in England should never be an aim for the leader of a party who claims to fight for Scotland. In fact, a leader seeking to appeal to a wider electorate than that of Scotland is a massive red flag that the party is not what it claims to be and a good indication that the last thing in the mind of such leader is to seek independence.

    “This will make her a formidable threat to the Union”
    I think you got this totally wrong. From where I stand she seems the safest option to preserve the union in the longer term Humza’s motivated exodus may precipitate the increase of the electoral representation of Alba or other pro-indy parties increasing the threat to the union.

    But let’s be clear. The only thing that makes any leadership candidate a formidable threat to the union is their direct claim that should they win the leadership, they will immediately issue a manifesto/or change the party constitution whereby the SNP will campaign in each and every election from now on on a manifesto to request consent from the people of Scotland to unilaterally revoke the Treaty of Union. No ifs, no buts. That is all: a direct mandate from Scotland to revoke the 300 year old treaty.

    It is a threat to the union, because it immediately brings down the wall the gravy train riders have been hiding behindthat Scotland ever needed permission from England (or the crown) to end this treaty.

    Bringing the treaty forward also debases the perspective the UK is the main unit from which Scotland is begging to secede. Instead, it places matters under the correct perspective: the UK, the same as the UK gov and UK parliament are just by-products of England and Scotland that can be de-legitimised at any point on England OR Scotland’s say so.

    Such approach will put the onus (correctly, in my view) on the people of Scotland rather than any of these Treaty byproducts, and would finally acknowledge that the only reason the UK still exists is that international treaty, which can be ended by any of the two parties who signed it at any time of their choosing.

    There is an even bigger threat to the union than revoking the treaty. And that is, in my view, the restoration of the Convention of the States and their potential to remove the crown from the incumbent monarch.

    The convention of the States in 1689 removed the Scottish crown from the monarch and handed it to another. Should the current monarch violate the Claim of Right or act despotically imposing directly or indirectly absolute rule over Scotland (and you can argue that adding the royal seal to laws which have been rejected by a majority of Scotland’s MPs is absolute rule), and the same can happen again.

    Considering the first few articles of the Treaty of Union and that the succession to the crown on the same head for England and Scotland has always been the fundamental reason behind it, departure of Scotland from such path will lead to the immediate and irreversible invalidation of the Treaty of Union and consequently, the union itself.

    But none of the three candidates is prepared to go that far and this makes one question if any of them is serious enough about seeking Scotland’s independence rather than simply pretending to look like they are by choosing the cul de sack that is attempting “secession” leaving the treaty intact.

    I have already determined that I will not vote in any upcoming election unless it is to cast my vote for independence. And I mean independence, not a mandate to ask England or the crown for permission to secede from a byproduct of the treaty or for another referendum. I consider I have waited long enough and I will not wait any longer.

    This means that unless there is a candidate in my ward from a political party with a manifesto saying they will use any election to gain a mandate for AND TO DELIVER independence Within a reasonable, pre-determined timeframe, I will spoil my ballot by creating my own options.

    In other words, for me, personally, should devolutionists like Yousaf or Forbes win the SNP leadership context, and the SNP will officially cease to exist in my eyes as a vehicle for independence, therefore I will have to look for an alternative.

    If Ms Reagan win the context, my vote will go to the SNP or not depending on her and the MP and MSP candidates in my ward convincing me a win in the election will DELIVER independence. No ifs, no buts.

    Currently, the two lying windbags acting as MP and MSP for my ward, who have been fooling voters into believing we were voting for independence, have both like sheep declared for Yousaf. To make matters worse, one of them voted for the endorsement of rapists and paedophiles at the expense of the safety of women and children. If that was not bad enough, one of them appeared in a picture with that violent male prostitute.

    In other words, none of them is interested in independence nor my safety of that of the children in my family. Therefore if those windbags remain as SNP candidates in my ward, even if Ms Reagan leads the SNP, I am afraid I will not be able to bring myself to vote for the SNP. Those two useless lying sacks of shit have irreversibly lost my trust.

    Needless to say that my vote will never find its way to any overt unionist party like Labour, libdems or Tories.

  79. JockMcT says:

    My worry is that what’s left of the snp is totally incapable of logical thought, so indoctrinated into the cult of Nicla that they will all take the safe gold standard plod fwd with carrots route…aka Yuseless, and AR is scary because she is upsetting everything in her quest for Independence, shh, the elephant in the room, tip-toe quietly out or put fingers in ears and hum until it passes….Methinks the SNP is a dead parrot waiting to fall off its perch. We shall see how they vote, if we can trust the counters..

  80. Dan says:


    Gas CCGT Combined Cycle Gas Turbines are currently powering more than 50% of GB (electric) Grid demand. That’s the highest I’ve seen it.

    Scotland only has one small CCGT power station with the rest located in England. England is using a lot of Scottish (and Norwegian) gas to run those Combined Cycle Gas Turbines to keep their lights on.

  81. David Hannah says:

    Happy International Women’s day.

    There’s a great picture of Ash Regan standing in front of the Scottish Feminist banner outside Holyrood.

    She’s beautiful. I think I’m in love. She has her fiery red hair, donning the suffrage colours like a true warrior. She stands proud outside o’ Holyrood, holdin’ a microphone in her hand, ready tae raise her voice and fight for women’s sex based rights and for the freedom o’ our land!

    Independence and freedom. Fierce determination and eloquent words.

    She’s the embodiment o’ the Scottish spirit – strong, brave. Wi’ Ash Regan at the helm, we ken that we’re in guid hands!

    Hail Alba. Solidarity with my sisters. You can do it Ash!

  82. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Graham at 4:46 pm.

    You asked,
    “Anyone have a link to watch the full debate that isn’t restricted outside the license area?”

    It’s on Youtube. You could try this link:-

  83. ScottieDog says:

    “First time I’ve heard Ash Reagan’s voice, and: she sounds English.”

    Wtf. I’ve heard this mentioned on twitter too. That’s a deal breaker for folk? If so we really are buggered.

    Big call re humza not being elected. I’ll be delighted if that’s the case, although Kate Forbes in charge seems like a long slow death. Ash will have to battle the huge headwinds of the hangers on…

  84. Gordon Gekko says:

    It’s very simple really.

    If you want George Osborne – Tory neoliberal globalist economic policies and trade policies vote for Forbes. Forbes will cheer on Monetarism and spending and debt rules based on Austrian gold standard economics.

    Continue to slash budgets and impose austerity and free ports and all the other right wing nonsense as she clearly believes the tax payer money myth and government finances are like that of a household myth..

    If you want common weal economic policies vote for Ash.

    The choice couldn’t be any easier it is a complete no brainer.

  85. Dan says:

    Will the new SNP leader keep Liz Loyd as a Strategic Policy and Political Adviser, and Murray Foote as Media Chief?
    Asking on behalf of the Daily Record…

  86. Gordon Gekko says:

    Kate Forbes has an economic record you can judge her on.

    A complete basket case. With no understanding of how money really works. Suffers from neoliberal globalist groupthink.

    Voting for Forbes will be exactly like voting to be part of the EU. A complete disaster but only funding out afterwards when it is too late.

    The level of debate is so poor thing only 2 outcomes will ever be realised in my lifetime.

    a) Run by London

    b) Run by Brussels

    Scotland will never ever be a an independent nation state.

    Only fools think this is going by to save them.

  87. Graham says:

    Brian Doonthetoon thanks for the link.

    Ash’s accent; in principle of course it’s not a dealbreaker, and the view of those who “don’t give two fucks” is entirely legitimate. That doesn’t change the fact that a Scottish politician who sounds a bit English is rather jarring to many Scots; it makes her sound like she spent so much time in England that she‘s out of touch with Scots, and she apparently honours the English lilt as being some kind of improvement over her native accent, reinforcing the trope that Scots language/dialect/accent is inferior. It’s like a snub.

    I’m not saying that’s literally true, I’m saying that’s how it comes across to me and I can only presume to others too. She may be the best candidate in Scotland, but she’d be even better if she sounded like a candidate (still) from Scotland.

  88. KT Lorimer says:

    Ash Regan was born in Scotland to Scottish parents who moved to England where she grew up.

  89. Wally Jumblatt says:

    Don’t be surprised when Murrell publishes a new timescale for this election on Friday around 17:45, opening up a short window for new candidates to be added -closing Monday morning 09:05.
    A new, safe candidate, and Humza will graciously drop out to spend more time with his family.

  90. Republicofscotland says:

    For those that want to watch tonights hustings in Johnstone.

  91. Gordon Gekko says:

    I’d love to interview Forbes.

    ” Kate, archaeologist digs up a coin is it a tax payers coin or a coin issued by a government ? ” I’ll give go a clue it is written on the front of the coin where it came from.

    ” Kate, take a note out of your pocket and read it as it is in very simple English. Read right beside the signature on the bank note. Who gives you the £’s that you then use to pay your taxes.

    ” Kate, take a note out of any business till in the country and read it as it is in very simple English. Who gives businesses the £’s they then use to pay their taxes. Read what’s written beside the signature on every note in the till Kate. ”

    ” Kate Why do you believe the tax payer money myth and government finances are like that of a household. When any archaeologist or any museum in the world will tell you money is issued by government as it is written on the Damn thing you then use to pay your taxes. ”

    ” Kate Why do believe taxes fund things when all government is doing is collecting back what it previously issued ” Then destroys what it collects like a football or concert ticket. ”

    ” Kate Why do think when a nurse goes to Blackpool on a hen night and spends all her wages in Blackpool. That the tax collected from that government spending will show up on the Scottish government accounts ”

    ” Kate Why do you think when a Scottish businessman goes to Ireland to watch the Rugby and spends all the money he received from the Scottish government for painting the Scottish parliament in Ireland. That the tax collected from that Scottish government spending will show up on the Scottish government accounts ”

    “Kate Why do you want government to run budget surpluses, that is, take more money out of the Scottish economy than they put in.”

    ” Kate Why are you against budget deficits, that is the Scottish govt puts more money into the economy than it takes out.

    ” Kate why are you so against the national debt when all it is are people’s savings held as bonds instead of cash. That they hold in their pensions and savings portfolios ”

    ” Kate Why did you want the green new deal to be funded by privatisations ( bank lending ) so rent seekers can extract rent instead of an elected government via the democratic process that can be held to account and held responsible for their actions. When you think through the implications its obvious why austerity is an attractive and seemingly “simple” program for preventing bottlenecks, it’s also just an illusory one which will lead to the deaths of thousands of people. ”

    Put a fork in her she is done at this point. Her History degree won’t save her.

  92. Doug says:

    James Connolly 1868-1916 never lost his Scottish accent. Dinnae think the Irish wur scunnert aboot it – then or noo.

  93. Kcor says:

    “But the real key fact is that the election will be conducted by a variant of the Single Transferable Vote system used in council elections, and that makes Yousaf’s road to victory an almost impossible one.”

    You are assuming that the voting SNP membership is an objective one and not stuffed with supporters of Sturgeon-Murrell.

  94. Helen Yates says:

    While I believe Ash Regan is the natural choice for anyone serious about independence we know that everything will be deployed to ensure she gets nowhere near the position of FM.

    I can’t help but think Kate is there as the backup if Humza fails to garner enough votes.
    Ash won’t just have the hierarchy of the SNP working against her, the establishment itself won’t tolerate her winning.
    Maintaining the union is the priority.

  95. Southernbystander says:

    Re Ash Regan ‘sounding English’, I am English, lived in England all my life and she has an unmistakable Scottish accent. Yes it is soft and sometimes she slips into sounding more English due to her upbringing in England but she does not ‘sound English’, to the English ear anyway.

  96. wee monkey says:

    “Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    8 March, 2023 at 1:39 pm
    “I think we don’t know enough about why members will be voting for Kate Forbes”

    If the Newsnight segment last night was anything to go by, it’s because she’s “nice”.

    WRONG. It’s because she is perceived as “honest”.

    Now there’s a turn up for the book eh.

  97. akenaton says:

    Well said Wee monkey!
    Forbes showed that she has the guts to take on the Sturgeonistas, she has perfect diction and common sense.
    Screaming for more referenda doesn’t cut it anymore, the Party is in terminal decline, ordinary floating voters are disgusted by the abuses and ideological madness of the last administration even the Party loyalists are running for cover, who in their right mind would want a referendum any time soon?
    Mrs Forbes if elected would have to cleanse the party and rebuild trust within the Scottish electorate, which will be difficult as Sturgeon has accomplished the almost impossible task of losing a large part of the women’s vote, which was one of their main strengths.

    Forbes is the only candidate with the political “nouse” to set the independence caravan back on the trail and bloody good luck to her, for her intelligence, honesty, and connectivity.

  98. Alex Stone says:

    Forbes is a fan of freeports, which means her “principles” can be bought with cash, and tax evasion opportunities, under the guise of economic growth.

    It’s economic fascism (capitalism), and will harm and diminish our intent of a socially compassionate Scottish Republic. Forbes doesn’t have a problem with this, and given her mindset for oracles, and theocratic conservatism, will present a solid wall against our greatest attribute for our future.

    Compassionate and cultural adaptability, and positive societal evolution.

    Which is what Ash is proposing.

  99. Tartanpigsy says:

    Kate Forbes wee tartan Tory w**ker

    Humza Yousaf despicable sleazebag grifting w**ker

    Ash Regan not quite the finished article but the only one giving any hope for Scotland to move in from this eternal Groundhog Day begging bowl circus

  100. SusanAHF says:

    What exactly is “cultural adaptability ” Alex Stone?

  101. joolz says:

    Yousless said we voted for his ‘progressive’ agenda. We didn’t. The email they sent to members at the last election doesn’t mention GRR, it had indy at the top of the list. I’m sure many naive members fell for it.

    At the last election we were specifically told that a vote for SNP *wasn’t* a vote for GRR. I didn’t trust them and didn’t vote SNP and, sure enough, when elected Smith announced it was a ‘clear sign’ that the public wanted GRR.

    I’m sick of this crap. The SNP under Alex was well disciplined and keen to follow the will of the people. Sturgeon made them the opposite. It will take years to fix the mess they made.

  102. Corrado Mella says:

    I’m perplexed at the faux outrage by the Nicolite sociopaths’ clique for robust and at times scathing examination of each other’s record in power by the candidates.
    If there wasn’t a difference of opinions, approach and strategy, and they agreed on everything, why TF are we wasting time with hustings and an election?
    Pick one and anoint it.
    Christ on a bike, they’re *REALLY* stupid.
    And they think we all are.
    Scotland, wipe these ejits out please.
    Ash Reagan in, clean slate, space for uncompromising (and not compromised) people and push forward. Hard.

  103. Ian says:


    Better late than never you learn this…the UK is not a federal state! It is a unitary state. This is an article of general knowledge, as well established as “a whale is not a fish”.

    As such there is no Treaty of Union to “revoke”!

    The 1707 Treaty of Union was a set of disposable instructions whereby two sovereign entities were amalgamated into one.

    The UK is not two sovereign signatories bound by an ongoing Treaty. If it was, it’s be called The United Kingdoms, plural (like the UAE, Emirates, plural). It is a single sovereign kingdom created in a historical act of unification, with diverse internal devolution (parliaments, legal systems, assemblies, mayoralties etc).

    It can be made two again, by fiat, but this has nothing to do with some altering or revoking some existing treaty.

  104. Tommy Sheridan says:

    I concur with your appraisal of the leadership candidates Stu and believe Ash Regan represents the only realistic chance of the SNP ever again becoming the de facto leadership of the independence movement. A win for her would undoubtedly lead to rebellions amongst the over-promoted, over-paid, elected numpties who were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when selection contests took place in 2015/16 for the General and Scottish elections in seats formerly considered out of reach but who have served little or no time in the independence trenches actually building support for the campaign to break the British State and ermine clad Empire but the broader more important movement would be thoroughly regenerated by such a victory.

    Another independence referendum via a Section 30 Order is now a pipe-dream in the context of opinion split 50:50 before a ball is kicked. Cameron agreed when Indy support hovered between 25% to 27%. He and his British Establishment chums never for a moment believed we would ever win which is why they were in such a cold panic the couple of weekends before the poll in 2014 when all the indications were a remarkable turnaround in support for YES. If we could progress from around 25% to 45% in 2014 then the British State understands the shift from 50% to 60% plus during an actual campaign is well within our grasp. The election route is all we have now. After securing more than 50% of votes for independence supporting parties we go international and seek United Nations, EU and other international recognition for our democratically declared aim of withdrawal from the one-sided and damaging Treaty of Union.

    My only concern with your contribution is the declaration that Humza won’t win. I hope you know more about the internal machinations of the SNP than me and the limitations of the party machine. My concern is all the apparatchiks and pay-roll vote know Humza is their only chance of retaining the comforts they have grown accustomed to and will do anything, foul play or otherwise, to have him elected and keep the identity politics cultists in power. I hope you are right. Some posts on other social media outlets I have read mention a stop Humza strategy of Ah withdrawing in favour of Kate Forbes. That is simply bonkers. If any candidate should consider withdrawing to defeat Humza and the continuation of empty independence platitudes and promotion of self-identity nonsense it is Kate. Ash is the real del candidate and the genuine independence warriors left within the SNP must be persuaded that our common cause is best served by her election not substance free Humza on his continuity band wagon. Ash Regan is the real unity candidate. The candidate best placed and most able to unite the independence movement which is much bigger and more important than any one single party or personality #AshReganForFirstMinister

  105. velofello says:

    Rats leaving the sinking ship is a much used term.

    Swnney – I’m no longer a government minister – oh yes you are; Murray Foote leaving, why was he ever engaged?; Liz Lloyd leaving -time will tell of her behaviour.

    And the sinking ship, so difficult to explore beneath the depths. Bute House closed for what? Wallpaper decoration? Or electronic disabling?

    Such is the extent of my cynicism of Nicola Sturgeon’s tenure.

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